Governor Schweitzer Stops Importation of Bison into Montana for 90 Days
Sarah Elliott 406-444-9725
Jayson O’Neill 406-444-9844
(HELENA) - Governor Brian Schweitzer today issued an Executive Order (below and attached) stopping the importation of bison into the State of Montana for a period of 90 days.
Executive Order language below:
EXECUTIVE ORDER PROHIBITING THE IMPORTATION OF BISON INTO THE STATE OF MONTANA FOR A PERIOD OF 90 DAYS
WHEREAS, brucellosis is an infectious disease and Yellowstone National Park bison exhibit a brucellosis sero-prevalence rate of approximately 50%; and
WHEREAS, the Montana Department of Livestock has adopted a surveillance program that has been highly successful in detecting brucellosis-affected herds and preventing the exportation of diseased livestock from Montana; and
WHEREAS, the United States Department of the Interior has recently indicated its intent to transport Yellowstone bison into Montana for slaughter at Montana facilities, which presents an unacceptable risk for the transmission of brucellosis to Montana livestock; and
WHEREAS, Montana legislators and livestock interests have expressed grave concerns that because of the high incidence of brucellosis in Yellowstone National Park bison, the importation of any bison from Yellowstone National Park into Montana presents an unacceptable risk for the transmission of brucellosis to Montana cattle; and
WHEREAS, several pieces of legislation have been introduced in the 2011 Montana Legislature that propose sweeping changes to bison management in Montana; and
WHEREAS, for over ten years management under the current court-ordered Interagency Bison Management Plan has resulted in no reduction in the prevalence of brucellosis in bison, nor has it resulted in a sustainable population control model for Yellowstone bison; and
WHEREAS, under Mont. Code Ann. § 81-2-112, the governor may issue a proclamation prohibiting the importation of diseased animals to Montana.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BRIAN SCHWEITZER, Governor of the State of Montana, by virtue of the authority vested in me pursuant to Mont. Code Ann. § 81-2-112, do hereby declare a prohibition on the importation of Yellowstone bison into areas of Montana that are outside of the designated surveillance area as designated by the Department of Livestock through administrative rule for a period of 90 days.